I am in the first official week of Christmas break. Because I am a writer as well as a university professor, one would think I would be throwing myself into another writing project at this point, grateful that I am unencumbered by the many details of being a professor.
Well, a couple of problems with that. I haven’t left my day job behind yet. I am wrapping up the last two brochures in the series I have been working on, fixing bugs in the new website that launched last week, and getting people to sign off on our alumni magazine that I edit. In addition to that, I have been sick since Dec. 7. The doctor told me yesterday that I needed total rest. I tried that yesterday and found that wasn’t going to work, simply because other people weren’t real sympathetic, and in the meantime I was going crazy. So I was in the office this morning and got a few things done, and did OK. I really think I am coming out of this.
But as much as I love writing, guess what I am longing to do? Rake leaves. Build a treehouse for my grandson. Fix my wife’s oven. What one would call menial labor. I call it Physical Therapy for the Soul.
My day job involved a lot of cerebral activity, and of course, so does writing. But it’s not simply a matter of sitting down and writing. You have to nurture that creative spirit in your brain. I do that by letting go of the junk that comes with my day job and occupying my logical side (right brain? left brain? I don’t remember) with raking leaves, mowing the lawn or washing the dishes. It’s therapy, and at this point, that’s what I need.
I have several writing project I could be working on, but after the stuff I have been wading through lately, I think I will let that wait. Instead, I need to busy my hands and unbusy my brain.
That’s what works for me.